Youda Farmer 2 shows that sequels can be unique.
It is worth mentioning when a game preserves the strengths of its prequel while expanding the gameplay notably. With Youda Farmer 2: Save the Village, the follow-up to Youda Farmer, this is exactly the case. The latest release by youdagames requires the player to save the village a second time. A sufficiently longer playtime and a much more consistent gameplay definitely make for a solid and entertaining time management game.
Again the player has to return to the village, but this time to save its citizens against Big Boss, who threatens your farm, the vendors, and the whole future of the village. In over 70 levels you will try your best to prevent this evil real estate agent to fulfill his mischievous plans, thereby constructing and upgrading new farms, stables, and enhancing the offers of local vendors. And this already eliminates one issue I had with the prequel of Youda Farmer 2 – its length. With this game you will be easily busy for at least 5 hours, if not much more, and that is a great and welcome improvement, particularly because the game does not tend to get boring along the way.
Another major flaw of the the prequel was the strict division of collecting products and delivering them. This not only made the game easier than necessary, but also felt somewhat sluggish. In Youda Farmer 2 both these elements are combined in each level. As a consequence you are constantly collecting products and delivering them to earn money and fulfill your goals simultaneously, which not only creates a very fast pace, but to finish all levels in gold time should be a heavy challenge even for highly experienced players in this genre.
Basically you are still collecting different products like fish, milk, eggs, or apples with your truck from various farms, and deliver them to the vendors in the village, for example the baker, the butcher, or the grocer. But things get complicated quickly. Your truck needs some time to drive from one location to another, and time is money. New recipes get introduced, which are more profitable, but also require excellent memory skills and various products at once. Furthermore there are a lot of combos that help to earn even more money, for example by picking up three or more of the same product at once.
Your goals differ in each level and often consist of various elements. In one level you may have to deliver 8 apples to the grocer, prepare four bacon and eggs at the butcher and deliver those to a farmer, and collect 8 units of wood along with some money to upgrade the bakery. If this sounds complicated to you, you are spot on. Levels become highly complex later on, and it takes some real skills and patience to master them, if you consider learning all recipes, calculating the best routes for your truck, and using the controls and combos of Youda Farmer 2 to your own advantage at the same time.
Apart from regular goals there are also two kinds of special levels. For one thing there is “Party Time” where you receive new orders from vendors successively. These levels are a nice change of pace since you can’t fail at all but earn some decent money. For another thing you have to complete puzzle levels, in which you have to attack Big Boss with farm-themed weapons, or sabotage his building operations. Those puzzle levels constitute one of the few weak points of Youda Farmer 2, because they become frustratingly hard quickly, and it’s not possible to skip them.
But besides this annoying issue there are few things to be criticized in this game. Sure, it could be a tad easier, but in the end most players will appreciate the actual complexity and the high replayability to improve their times. Furthermore some purchasable upgrades would have been a nice addition. From the money you earn you can only buy map pieces, which in turn uncover a part of the village and offer some perks, such as increased prices for certain products, but other upgrades for your truck or the village are added during levels automatically.
Nevertheless these are only minor issues that are outshined by the game’s many strengths. There are a lot of charming details to be found, and it is very rewarding to realize how complex the game really is. Different levels require different strategies and it might take some time to learn those, but it is definitely worth it. All in all Youda Farmer 2: Save the Village offers a very satisfying gaming experience. Sustaining the core of its prequel, but solving major issues and adding logical and welcome improvements and features prove to be a reliable recipe for successful and high quality sequels. Help that small village against Big Boss and enjoy this challenging and rather unique time management game.